This is the News in Brief from the United Nations
Security Council gravely concerned over Ebola outbreak in DR Congo
The Security Council reiterated Friday its “grave concern” about the most recent outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
A statement from the Ambassador of Poland, which holds the Council’s presidency for August, emphasized the need for continued cooperation and coordination with the DRC to address the outbreak, as well as with the States in the region.
The statement also expressed the Council’s apprehension over the security situation in the Ebola-affected areas, particularly attacks on humanitarian and medical personnel, which severely hampers the response and facilitates the virus’ spread.
It condemned these attacks “in the strongest terms” and called for the “immediate cessation of hostilities by all armed groups”.
The Security Council emphasized the importance of strengthening international support and engagement to bring the disease permanently and successfully under control.
Plant a tree, save the planet
In a record-breaking day this week, at the Gulele Botanical Garden in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia launched an historic tree planting campaign. This is according to the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP.
On Friday, the UN agency said that over 350 million trees were planted in an ambitious move to counter the effects of deforestation and climate change.
The event is part of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Green Legacy Initiative, which aimed to plant 200 million trees in a single day across 1,000 sites country-wide.
The Director of UNEP’s Africa Office, Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo said: “Afforestation is the most effective climate change solution to date and with the new record set by Ethiopia, other African nations should move with speed and challenge the status quo”.
Scouts virtually step into lives of refugees
And in another upbeat story, this year, there is more to World Scout Jamboree than action and adventure.
Thanks to an immersive 360-degree video experience organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, each day during this year’s Jamboree, hundreds of Scouts have virtually walked out of a remote corner of West Virginia and into the lives of refugees around the world.
Through the experience they have seen the story of young Omar, who fled the Syrian war at age five, after witnessing his uncle’s death and pulling his injured brother from the rubble of a rocket-blasted house.
After escaping, he and his family moved to neighbouring Lebanon as refugees.
Over the 10 days of Jamboree, groups of Scouts also spoke via video link to Omar from his new home in Finland.
Jamboree connects people and encouraging action, according to Ahmad Alhendawi, the organization’s chief.
“We’re really happy with our partnership with UNHCR”, he said, “a Scout is a friend to all, and that includes with refugees”.
Liz Scaffidi, UN News